Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

GALA wrap-up: Olmert, Bibi, and Moishe Oofnik

Posted by jlifer on November 22, 2006

Moishe Oofnik

J-Lifer’s final installment (of a ‘muppet’ government?) in her review of the GALA

I came here to “be with the stars.” At least that’s what they promised last year: the UJC General Assembly was to highlight the movers and shakers in Jewish federations, big makhers in the community and prominent leaders.

They were expecting 4,000 participants at the largest annual gathering of Jewish leaders from North America, Israel and across the globe.

But then there was a war, and the focus shifted dramatically.

Instead the assembly featured Ehud Olmert as the keynote speaker, with Bibi Netanyahu as a second-best speaker. The minister of tourism and education held an early morning panel, and foreign minister Tzipi Livni opened the whole ordeal.

If Linda Richman were leading the GA, and she was phlekempt, she’d say: “Iran is sworn against little Israel, they unsuccessfully tried to kill us through Hezbollah. Discuss.”

The themes were deep and recurring, and everyone could agree the big wigs in American Jewry could well wait their turn while more pressing matters were discussed. Like Muslim imperialism and world domination, rebuilding schools in the devastated North, the future of our people.

It was an unprecedented GA with some daunting messages from both the coalition and the opposition in Israel.

“We must never be complacent about those who seek to hurt us,” Olmert warned in Tuesday’s closing plenary.

The world needs to realize it is a global problem, said Netanyahu is his speech Monday. “It’s hard to persuade people of the imminence of the problem,” he said. “They really think it’s a Jewish problem.”

Members of Knesset from different ends of the political spectrum also chimed in. Let’s stop being naïve, said Yoel Hassan, Kadimah party member with the coalition. “If we’re going to be weak, the world is waiting for that.”

To the left, and part of the opposition party Meretz, Avshalom Vilan said even though he’s willing to take the “calculated risk” of trading land for peace, he recognizes the lack of a willing partner.

“If someone is willing to deal with us, it will be better for them and better for us,” he said.

The Israel-intensity of the event was almost too much to take until “Moshe Oofnik,” a muppet on the new Rehov Sumsum, took center stage left.

He’s a Jewish muppet who uses Yiddish generously and has a New York accent. He hates it when people are polite, and thinks everyone should stop saying “hello” and “goodbye” and start saying “scram!” instead.

Great. Teach little Jewish kids to be rude.

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One Response to “GALA wrap-up: Olmert, Bibi, and Moishe Oofnik”

  1. Esther said

    Heh. Sounds like Oofnik is teaching Jewish kids that New Yorkers are rude. Which is only true some of the time.

    😉

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